Use Focuswriter for a distraction-free writing experience on Fedora

Writing can be hard. One of the main obstacles that people encounter when sitting down to write something is all the distractions that a modern desktop throws at you such as cats on the internet, cats on twitter, and cats on reddit. Focuswriter is a neat word processor available in Fedora that provides a user experience to minimize all these cat-related distractions, allowing you to focus on what you need to write.

Focus writer is a full-screen application that — by design — hides all the other desktop elements, and even most of its own user interface, and pretty much just leaves you with somewhere to write. focuswriter-default

Basic word processing

The default file format that Focuswriter uses is Open Document Text (.ODT), which is the format used by Libre Office. However, Focuswriter does not use the majority of features specified in ODT, so no support for inserting images, tables, or even headers.

By design, only basic formatting of text is supported, such as applying bold, italics, underlines, subscript, superscript, indenting, and text alignment. Other basics you would expect from a word processor are also present in Focuswriter, including spellchecker, a handy autosave feature, and support for editing multiple documents.

Customise your experience

Focuswriter also has many options to tweak and change how your writing experience looks. You can create, modify and use multiple different themes, tweaking display options such as fonts, background colours, background images, the colour of the foreground, opacity of the foreground, text colour, text size and line spacing.


Tools to help your writing

Reducing distractions is not the only thing that Focuswriter gives you to improve your focus on getting things written. Timers allow you to set a goal of how long you want to write for, allowing you to just focus on writing, and Focuswriter will alert you when time is up. It is also possible to set daily writing goals for documents, to help you stay on track if you are writing a lengthy document like a novel. Focuswriter can also display live statistics on your writing session, so you can keep track of how many words, paragraphs or even characters you have written in a writing session.

Focuswriter also has a focused text feature that greys out all other visible text in the document other than the current line, the current 3 lines, or the current paragraph. This is designed to help you focus on what you are currently writing, and reduce the urge to go back and edit other sections of your document.


Getting it for Fedora

Focuswriter is available in the official Fedora repositories, so you can find it in the Software application on Fedora Workstation, or install on the command line with

sudo dnf install focuswriter

This post was originally published in Feburary 2015

Fedora Project community Using Software


  1. Bill Chatfield

    Looks like a great app. I love cat videos!

  2. Anthony

    just use LibreOffice Writer in fullscreen

  3. Uncle Geek

    Thank you for the article. I got here from Linux Today and this is also in the Linux Mint repository. This may be useful for my efforts, and I’ll make a donation to the author if it is.

  4. Rodrigo Araujo

    The background customization tool creates an ideal ambiance for creative work. I have been using it for about two years now.

  5. Hugh Mungus

    To be honest I use i3wm and it does not distract me so from my perspective it does not seem that useful, that being said I would recommend something like this for windows users or something.

  6. Paulo Estrela

    Besides Timers and etc. Vim, Kate, abiword does the job.. Just disconnect from internet and your job goes fast!

  7. Thanks Ryan for that helpful app!

    For those who would like to tweak the Focuswriter font size, this site was also useful…

  8. Tal

    Over the years, I have used the following text editors: nano, vim, pluma, gedit, Kate, notepad++, sublime, notepad, wordpad, textedit, MS word, Visual Studio, and pycharm.

    As a programmer, I’m sure I have written many hundreds of pages of text using these text editors. I have never, EVER, sat there thinking “I should be writing right now, but look at all those pretty buttons – they’re so distracting…”. I have also never been distracted with tabs I have open, background windows, or my desktop.

    At no point have I ever though to myself “I wish I had a timer to stop me from writing, but I’m too lazy to set one by telling my phone’s AI to set one, or telling google to set one – why can’t a timer just be part of every single program I will ever use, just in case one day I need one?”.

    Getting the current line, or paragraph highlighted seems almost like maybe it might be a good idea for some people (I’d never use it), but switching from some other text editor with dozens of useful features to one full of gimmicks, and very few features sounds ridiculous.

  9. IndraWahid

    hi ryan lerch! maybe i’ll try it later. it’s new one for me.
    thank you for making this post. it’s give me a lot of information.

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